Amazing Venues in Maui, Hawaii

Aloha! Now let's change the world.

For the past six days, I’ve been on a press trip in Maui, Hawaii, a place I’ve discovered to be one of the most economically and environmentally diverse communities on the globe. Hawaii has always had a long-standing reputation as being one of the most beautiful places on earth, full of sun, sand, surf and some of the best people you could hope to meet. But, science? Not exactly what comes to mind when I picture this paradise. But after this press trip, it is. There are a plethora of organizations that groups can visit while at a conference in Maui, a potential meetings hotspot for the science and technology industrustries.

Here is a quick rundown of all the awesome organizations in Maui that are working to advance our scientific research, enhance our homeland security, and just generally make this world a better place:

1) Pacific Biodiesel (

How they’re changing the world: 

Owned and operated by husband and wife team Kelly and Bob King, Pacific Biodiesel, established in 1996, is the leader in biodiesel fuel production in Hawaii. They house the only 100% biodiesel-ran pump on the island. They collect used cooking oil from local restaurants and process it so that it can be used as fuel. Buses on Maui and Oahu, and the ferries to and from Pearl Harbor, are run on 20% biodiesel from their plant. It’s a community-based project and all the fuel remains within the islands — exporting would cause pollution and waste energy. However, they help countries all over the world build and operate their own biodiesel plants — paying it forward in a big way.

How they’re changing the world:

The Observatory, stationed at about 10,000 feet on Mt. Haleakala, houses one of the greatest technological wonders, the largest digital camera in the world. They have the ability to see and photograph further into space than almost anyone on the globe. They’ve spotted hundreds of undiscovered asteroids and deliberated how to change their path so as not to interfere with earth’s atmosphere or collide with the planet itself. (We were told the methods they use are vastly different from Bruce Willis in Armageddon). Ran by the University of Hawaii, the Observatory also provides great resources for students and amateur astronomers.

3) Pacific Disaster Center (

How they’re changing the world:

The PDC monitors the globe for potential natural disasters, in addition to helping countries and cities prepare for these catastrophes. Using satellites and extensive research, they are able to predict how a disaster will affect an area based off of location, population, infrastructure, size, and many other factors. That way, when disaster strikes, the world isn’t so caught off guard and a country is able to better get back on its feet. In a way, they are the world’s life insurance, informing us of potential risk and important preventative measures. You are now even able to monitor the world’s current state in real time through their Facebook page:

4) Maui High Performance Computing Center (

How they’re changing the world:

The MHPCC, home to one of the most powerful machines in the world, provides unparalleled computation resources for the Department of Defense’s scientific computational needs, assisting with research and wartime missions. The Center also supports the Directed Energy Directorate’s Maui Space Surveillance System located atop the 10,000-foot Mt. Haleakala, imaging and tracking space objects.   

5) Pelatron (

How they’re changing the world:

This small, Hawaiian owned and operated business was first established as a way to create jobs for Hawaiians and encourage natives to get involved in business. This is still a part of their mission. They work to develop innovative technologies that help advance and enhance a wide range of businesses and government agencies. Their latest project is NOTM (Network On The Move), a device connected to military vehicles that helps marines better navigate battlefields at any time of day or night. Pelatron is a key resource for the DoD, being ideally positioned to defend the United States and its Pacific Rim allies against threats to its security.

All of these programs work with energy efficiency in mind. Hawaii is aware that their resources (and the globe’s) are limited, and do everything they can to preserve and maintain their natural resources, and in turn, their natural beauty.

Sarah Beauchamp

Sarah Beauchamp was formerly assistant editor of Convene.